Thanksgiving, Original Traditions and Implemented Ideals


Hailie Ford

The big turkey dinner is a huge part of many families’ Thanksgiving traditions.

Charlie Aus and Rebecca Clary

Thanksgiving, traditionally a holiday associated with gold-roasted turkey, gathering with friends and family, and giving thanks, has become a stable tradition in American culture; however, the holiday’s origins are far different from the modern day interpretation and celebration. 


As the years have passed, the way Thanksgiving is celebrated has vastly changed, which is something to be expected given how society and culture have shifted into something far less conservative. Thanksgiving’s first celebration is a story many have heard before. It was truly a celebration of gratitude after starving for many harsh winter months. On the opposite side of the coin, today, the holiday’s feast can be more closely associated with overindulgence. Something that might be interpreted as going against the very meaning of the original holiday. That’s not to say that giving thanks is no longer a part of the holiday tradition, however, it certainly feels like a mild inconvenience.


Personal experience and media’s interpretation have shown countless times the begrudging and reluctant admissions of thanks given around a holiday table. While this is most of the time a comedic gag or plot device, it still calls into question the sturdiness of modern morals. The backbone of America’s tradition lies inside our strong morals. Should Americans take more time and value what they have or has the meaning of the holiday been transformed?


Despite its namesake, Thanksgiving has become a holiday more about spending time with family than anything else. Although in today’s age, time is something that most people are lacking. Often times people find themselves struggling to balance all of their priorities, leaving personal time or time spent with loved ones on the back burner. 


Recently however, due to the pandemic, many Americans have found themselves spending what they might consider too much time with their family. Tension can run high between loved ones quarantined together. It’s easy to feel trapped when people are, well, trapped with each other. One thing that’s important to remember is to appreciate their presence. Loved ones’ health and presence are more important now more than ever and just having them around and safe is more than enough to have this Thanksgiving.